Tips For Proving Your Former Spouse Is Unfit To Have Physical Custody

Are you going to have a battle for custody of your kids during a divorce but you feel as if your former spouse is unfit to have physical custody? If so, you'll need to know how to prove this in court so that you win the custody agreement that you are seeking.

Substance Abuse 

Does your spouse have a substance abuse issue that has been around for quite some time? This may be used to prove that they are unfit to have physical custody. It could include abuse of illegal or prescription drugs, a history of trying to get clean but falling back on bad habits, or a current issue that they are struggling with. Your lawyer may recommend that your former spouse undergo drug testing or a substance abuse screening if they were to receive physical custody, which they will likely not want to do.


It helps to have some sort of evidence that your former spouse would show neglect if they were the parent with physical custody. Even if reports from the police or child protective services do not exist, you can gather your own evidence of how there is currently neglect on their part in the marriage. For example, if they have a history of not taking care of the kids, cooking for them, taking them to the doctor, or getting them to school on time, those are all things that can add up as proof of them being neglectful. What you want to do is show that there would be neglect, which could lead to it turning into abuse if you were not around to make things right. 

Child's Best Interest

Always keep in mind that the judge is going to pick a parent to have physical custody if it is in the child's best interest. This means that you should be finding ways to prove that your former spouse has some sort of shortfall and that the children would be better off with you. For example, you may have a better work schedule that allows you to be with the children for more hours during the day, or you may be a better cook and able to provide healthier meals for your children. The more ways that you can demonstrate that it is in the children's best interest to stay with you, the more your former spouse will appear as if they are unfit to be the parent with sole physical custody. 

To learn more, contact a child custody attorney.